January 17th, 2017
The contrast between the positive and the negative feelings as we approach Inauguration Day seems starker than ever.
It’s not unusual to experience a cultural low after the holidays, and cold, gray winter weather doesn’t help one’s mood, either. But the uncertainty surrounding the new administration seems to have intensified anxiety on the left and defensiveness on the right.
I have no political comments to add. And my only spiritual comment is to remind us all of the old American motto, “In God We Trust.”–J. Douglas Ousley
January 9th, 2017
I recently heard a talk by the noted Episcopalian spiritual writer, Barbara Cawthorne Crafton. Mother Crafton read from her new book, The Also Life, which offers insights into the relationship between science and religion.
This is, of course, a vast topic. Many theologians with little knowledge of science make unconvincing claims about whether it clashes with faith; many scientists with little knowledge of religion make equally ignorant claims.
Mother Crafton takes a poetic tack, which is surely an approach worth pursuing. She spoke of the eternal presence of God as a way in which we share life (the “also life,” not the afterlife) with those whom we love who have departed this world. You can’t exactly put that thought into the language of modern physics, but the poetry of the Eternal Now (as Paul Tillich described God) is accessible to Christians who also accept the claims of modern science. —J. Douglas Ousley
December 19th, 2016
As far as I know, we have never had a professed atheist President. Our last two leaders, George W. Bush and Barack Obama were faithful churchgoers.
Donald Trump’s personal faith is not clear. He claims membership in the Marble Collegiate Church around the corner from Incarnation; he met his second wife while attending a service there and pastors of that church have officiated at one at least of his weddings. One of his grandchildren was baptized in an Episcopal Church.
Doubtless, then, Mr. Trump would claim to be a Christian in something resembling good standing. It remains to be seen, however, how his faith will affect his decisions as president.
Of course, one can be a fine political leader without being a Christian or a believer of any kind. Americans may put too much emphasis on the personal religion of its presidents. And one thing is certain: we don’t need hypocrisy in high places. —J. Douglas Ousley